Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Great Moments in Public Education

Well, my home state of New Jersey has descended to a new low. Check out this story.

Glen Meadow Middle School seventh grader, Ethan Chaplin, was recently suspended after, he says, he was simply twirling a pencil in math class. News 12 New Jersey reported that the Vernon Township, New Jersey teenager was twirling a pencil with a pen cap on top when another student yelled, "He's making gun motions, send him to juvie." But Ethan denies that interpretation of his actions and said that the student who yelled the comment had been bullying him earlier that day and was just trying to get him in trouble.

So how did school officials respond to a seventh grader's demand that one of his classmates be sent to "juvie"? They went out and did it!

Although Ethan explained the bullying situation, he says that administrators ignored his side of the story. The teen was taken to the principal's office and News 12 notes that, "he was suspended, pending the outcome of a psychological evaluation."

A suspension and a "psychological evaluation" over pencil twirling? Even more incredibly, school officials stand by their actions. Because you know, any child that makes another child feel unconfortable needs him some suspendin' and evaluatin'.

The Vernon Schools Superintendent, Charles Maranzano, stands by the principal and says she was just doing her job. Their school policy as well as the law requires that administration investigate any situation when a student feels uncomfortable or threatened by another student. Maranzano added, "We never know what's percolating in the mind of children, okay. And when they demonstrate behaviors that raise red flags, we must do our duty."

What about the red flag of falsely accusing a poor kid twirling a pencil with exhibiting "gun behavior"? Shouldn't that be the behavior the school is investigating? Anyway, back to our story, the "evaluation" went about as well as one would expect.

Mr. Chaplin, who explained the five-hour long physical and psychological evaluation that his son endured, possibly for naught. Chaplin told the outlet, "The child was stripped, had to give blood samples (which caused him to pass out) and urine samples for of all things drug testing.Then four hours later a social worker spoke to him for five minutes and cleared him. Then an actual doctor came in and said the state was 100 percent incorrect in their procedure and this would not get him back in school."

We're always in such good hands with government bureaucracies.


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